Skip to comments.Radio Replies Volume One: Old Testament Difficulties [Part 1]
Posted on 05/06/2009 9:28:05 PM PDT by GonzoII
116. I believe in the New Testament, but not in the Old Testament.
There are things in the New Testament just as hard to believe as many things in the Old Testament, and on your principle you should reject much of the New Testament itself. Yet let us act on your admission that you do accept the New Testament. Christ and the Apostles had the same Old Testament as we have today. They treat it always as the inspired Word of God in its totality. Christ, the Son of God, would have been the first to declare that it was a fraudulent invention claiming to be the Word of God as people believed, if it were not really the Word of God. Instead, Christ quoted it, giving it full authority. "Do not think that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill ... not one jot or one tittle shall pass of the law, till all be fulfilled."-Matt. V., 17. In Luke XXIV., 27, we read, "And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded to them in all the scriptures the things that were concerning him." Yet you, beginning at Moses, would reject all the scriptures Christ sanctioned! In John V., 39, Christ says, "Search the scriptures for you think in them to have life everlasting; and the same are they which give testimony of me." But Christ did not add, "Yet whilst searching the scriptures, watch out for the parts not inspired!" Not to believe in the Old Testament gives the lie direct to the New Testament; insults the wisdom of God and of Christ; and makes shipwreck of the faith.
117. Can a Christian believe everything in the Old Testament?
A Christian must believe that the Old Testament, with all its canonical books, is the inspired Word of God. But one has only to believe in the correct interpretation of what is there written, as is evident. If you reject any genuine part of the Old Testament as not inspired, you violate the Christian faith. It is strange that Protestantism began by charging the Catholic Church with not giving the Scriptures to the laity, and now the Catholic Church has to defend those same Scriptures from the efforts of Protestants to tear them to pieces.
118. Old Testament teaching is barbaric in parts; not in keeping with the New Testament; nor would God inspire such a record of outrageous crimes.
Things were permitted in the Old Law not in keeping with the more perfect New Law. But the change is in the Law. There is nothing in the Old Testament which violates any attribute of God, save, of course, the sins of men described in the Old Testament. These latter are recorded, not with approval, but as evil to be reprehended, and as motives of repentance. It is a fallacy to measure the simple blunt standards of more primitive times by modern standards. Also, these accounts prove the trustworthiness of the reports. They are not out to say only the best of Jewish heroes, but narrate exploits far from flattering to the vanity of the Jews, though written by members of the race, not by enemies.
In your readings you have either understood the correct sense, or you have not. If you have, you had better change your ideas. Is the Bible, the inspired Word of God, going to be true when it suits your ideas, or are your ideas going to be true when they are adjusted to God's revealed truth? If God says a thing not quite in accordance with your notions, then you can be sure that your notions are wrong, and you had better renounce them, as you have had to renounce so many other mistakes during your life. Men can be so easily mistaken; God cannot be mistaken.
119. Is the Book of Genesis to be taken literally or allegorically?
Each and every word of Genesis need not be taken literally. But the substance of all facts which are fundamental in Christianity are to be taken as literally true.
120. Colonel Ingersoll has pointed out the mistakes of Moses. He says, "I am probably the only man who has read the Bible through this year in the United States. Everybody talks about the Bible and nobody reads it. That is why it is so generally believed. I have wasted this time, but I had a purpose in view." Ingersoll was a man of great intellectual powers, and had he lived earlier he would have been put to death, as thousands of others, by the Church when they dared to challenge priestcraft.
What was the basis for the probable opinion of Ingersoll that he alone had read the Bible through that year? An opinion, to be probable, must have good reasons. A guess won't do. Ingersoll's only reason was that other men did not come to his own conclusions. Therefore they could not have read the Bible! If he can get a probable opinion out of that, he is not a fit guide for other men's thought.
Again, it is certain that not everybody talks about the Bible, whilst it is nonsense to say that nobody reads it. Many do believe in the Bible without knowing why, but their reason is not because they have not read it.
That Ingersoll had a purpose in view supplies the key to almost all his writings. Where others read to learn to know and love God, he read with one idea--to destroy religious belief. This purpose colored all his views and rendered him about as fit to interpret religion as a Russian Bolshevic on the British Constitution. Let me assure you that, despite his "great intellectual powers," Ingersoll is one of the easiest of adversaries to refute. No one has been put to death by the Catholic Church, and had Ingersoll been put to death, it would not have been for challenging priestcraft. For such action he would have been commended. But he would have been ordered to cease reviling the Christian Priesthood, though he would have been free to denounce any genuine abuses to the proper authorities.
121. Is the story of creation, and of Adam and Eve true despite Evolution?
The account of creation in Genesis is certainly true, though men have not fully perceived the true interpretation of every detail given in that account. There is nothing in favor of evolution to justify doubting the direct formation of Adam and Eve by God, as we shall see on another occasion.
122. Ingersoll paints the pretty picture! God made all the animals walk before Adam that he might name them. And the animals came like a menagerie into town, and as Adam looked at all the crawlers and jumpers and creepers, this God stood by to see what he would call them!
The appeal to the gallery in the mention of a menagerie and town, and then the omission of all names except crawlers, jumpers, and creepers, is evident. "This God stood by," is another little lapse. Ingersoll falls down on the simplest Hebraism. The whole passage means that God gave Adam a knowledge suitable to man's estate, and that Adam gave names in human language to the animals of which God gave him intellectual vision. Ingersoll was out of his depth, and had not the intelligence to know it.
123. Must we believe the account of the fall of man?
Yes. And facts confirm it. I shall deal with this topic later.
124. Why did God forbid the Tree of Knowledge? Having endowed man with reason He should encourage man to advance in knowledge. And how I would have liked to have spoken to that serpent! What language did it speak?
God forbade that tree which could lead man to a knowledge of evil. He gave man reason that he might know what is right and good. It is not advancing in knowledge to acquire erroneous and evil notions. As for the serpent, if you knew what you were talking about, you would not like to have spoken to him. The language he spoke was the language of pride, sensuality, and rebellion.
125. Is it not absurd to say that Methuselah could live 900 years?
No. Insects, animals, and men have lives of varying length. Why? It is dependent entirely upon the will of the Omnipotent God who made them. And could He not will 900 years for man just as easily as 90? Is there any reason why He should not will 900 then, merely because He happens to will 90 now? And which is the greater wonder, to make man, or to make him live 900 years? Surely to make man at all. He who can do the greater could quite easily do the lesser. The special reason why God should will such long lives for the patriarchs of old was that they might generate many children and thus set the human race upon its feet. That necessity is no longer in existence.
126. Angels fell in love with the daughters of men and begat giants. What a legend!
Genesis VI., 2, says that the sons of God took wives from the daughters of men. These sons of God were not Angels, but the descendants of Seth, whilst carnal and fleshly men were the descendants of Cain. God was rightly angry with these mixed marriages between those who knew the true religion and those who had forgotten and abandoned it. As for the giants, the children of these unions were monsters rather in violence and wickedness than in size, though they were probably big men, and independent in their self-sufficient strength.
127. The ridiculous story of the flood offends against my common sense.
Any ridiculous element is supplied by your own imagination. It would be better to find out what the narrative involves, and then put your difficulties. Archaeological research justifies the fact. The flood need not have covered the whole world, but could have been local. We have to admit, however, that it destroyed all human beings then living except Noah and those with him in the Ark.
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Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble, M.S.C.
"I was brought up as a Protestant, probably with more inherited prejudices than most non-Catholics of these days. My parents were Anglican and taught me the Angelican faith. My 'broad-minded' protestant teachers taught me to dislike the Catholic Church intensely. I later tried Protestantism in various other forms, and it is some thirty years since, in God's providence, I became a Catholic. As for the 'open, free, sincere worship' of a Protestant Church, I tasted it, but for me it proved in the end to be not only open, but empty; it was altogether too free from God's prescriptions."
Eventually, Leslie became a priest of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart.
In 1928, Fr. Rumble began a one-hour 'Question Box' program on 2SM Sydney, N.S.W. radio on Sunday evenings that was heard all over Australia and New Zealand. For five years he answered questions on every subject imaginable that had been written to him from all over that part of the globe. His first show began with a classic introduction:
"Good evening, listeners all. For some time I have been promising to give a session dealing with questions of religion and morality, in which the listeners themselves should decide what is of interest to them. Such a session will commence next Sunday evening, and I invite you to send in any questions you wish on these subjects . . . So now I invite you, non-Catholics above all, to send in any questions you wish on religion, or morality, or the Catholic Church, and I shall explain exactly the Catholic position, and give the reasons for it. In fact I almost demand those questions. Many hard things have been said, and are still being said, about the Catholic Church, though no criminal, has been so abused, that she has a right to be heard. I do not ask that you give your name and address. A nom de plume will do. Call yourself Voltaire, Confucius, X.Y.Z., what you like, so long as you give indication enough to recognize your answer."
"By the summer of 1937, the first edition of Radio Replies was already in print in Australia, financed by Rt. Rev. Monsignor James Meany, P.P. - the director of Station 2SM of whom I am greatly indebted."
"I have often been mistaken, as most men at times. And it is precisely to make sure that I will not be mistaken in the supremely important matter of religion that I cling to a Church which cannot be mistaken, but must be right where I might be wrong. God knew that so many sincere men would make mistakes that He deliberately established an infallible Church to preserve them from error where it was most important that they should not go wrong."
Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty
I broadcast my radio program, the Catholic Radio Hour, from St. Paul, Minnesota.
I was also carrying on as a Catholic Campaigner for Christ, the Apostolate to the man in the street through the medium of my trailer and loud-speaking system. In the distribution of pamphlets and books on the Catholic Faith, Radio Replies proved the most talked of book carried in my trailer display of Catholic literature. As many of us street preachers have learned, it is not so much what you say over the microphone in answer to questions from open air listeners, but what you get into their hands to read. The questions Fr. Rumble had to answer on the other side of the planet are same the questions I had to answer before friendly and hostile audiences throughout my summer campaign."
I realized that this priest in Australia was doing exactly the same work I was doing here in St. Paul. Because of the success of his book, plus the delay in getting copies from Sydney and the prohibitive cost of the book on this side of the universe, I got in contact with him to publish a cheap American edition.
It doesn't take long for the imagination to start thinking about how much we could actually do. We began the Radio Replies Press Society Publishing Company, finished the American edition of what was to be the first volume of Radio Replies, recieved the necessary imprimatur, and Msgr. Fulton J. Sheen agreed to write a preface. About a year after the publication of the first edition in Australia, we had the American edition out and in people's hands.
The book turned into a phenomena. Letters began pouring into my office from every corner of the United States; Protestant Publishing Houses are requesting copies for distribution to Protestant Seminaries; a few Catholic Seminaries have adopted it as an official textbook - and I had still never met Dr. Rumble in person.
To keep a long story short, we finally got a chance to meet, published volumes two and three of Radio Replies, printed a set of ten booklets on subjects people most often asked about, and a few other pamphlets on subjects of interest to us.
Fr. Carty died on May 22, 1964 in Connecticut.
"Firstly, since God is the Author of all truth, nothing that is definitely true can every really contradict anything else that is definitely true. Secondly, the Catholic Church is definitely true. It therefore follows that no objection or difficulty, whether drawn from history, Scripture, science, or philosophy, can provide a valid argument against the truth of the Catholic religion."
Biographies compiled from the introductions to Radio Replies, volumes 1, 2 and 3.
Radio Replies Volume One: Natural Religion & Revealed Religion
Radio Replies Volume One: Mysteries of Religion
Radio Replies Volume One: Miracles
Radio Replies Volume One: Value of the Gospels
Radio Replies Volume One: Inspiration of the Gospels
Radio Replies Volume One: Old Testament Difficulties [Part 1]